On March 19 I traveled to Kanpur, India, to create a new 3D pavement artwork at Techkriti ’17, the annual international, technological and entrepreneurial festival organized by the Indian Institute of Technology of Kanpur IIT.
I had a special help in the painting process (4 days on a 4×7 meters artwork) from my friend Andrea Libratti who was already in Dharamsala and reached me in Delhi when I arrived to take the train in the Uttar Pradesh region.
Techkriti ’17 theme was Factualising Fictions, a tribute to the enduring spirit of man that never fails to transform its fictions into reality. Even though the subject reminded me of robotics and virtual reality suggestions I drew a quite funny sketch that is a mindful compromise beetween past and future.
A young indian boy wearing a virtual reality mask is on the ground playing chess with a vintage ICub robot who ripped the VR cable coming from the mask. Cable is starting to fall down cause the robot is opening the hand.
The iCub is the humanoid robot developed at the Italian Institute of Technology as part of the EU project RobotCub and subsequently adopted by more than 20 laboratories worldwide. It has 53 motors that move the head, arms & hands, waist, and legs. It can see and hear, it has the sense of proprioception (body configuration) and movement (using accelerometers and gyroscopes).
I wanted to keep that robot therefore I wished to gave him a older aspect. That’s why I changed his body in a older robot with wheels, such a compromise between progress and tradition. He has also a mouth with theet (such a confused smile) that the original robot doesn’t keep. The guy also has a virtual reality mask that seems more steampunk that a modern VR one.
I really wanted to put a old chess in the painting as a homage to indian tradition (The theory most espoused and believed is that Chess is an Indian games, the first references of which turned up in the 6th century).
The experience in Kanpur was fine and later we also had a few time to visit some amazing places in Agra and Delhi before returning home. The red fort and the old Mosque in Delhi and the Taj Mahal, the ancient fort and the small Taj in Agra. Wonderful colors, powerful people and many suggestions in a land with high contrasts that generate in you deep feelings and thoughts.
I want to thank Piyush Raj Gupta for the invitation and Anshuman Sinha for his helpfulness toward us in the campus.
Also I want to thank Andrea for his help, love and friendship that is growing more and more after this indian adventure!